Confluence is one of those tools that can do just about anything. You can provide documentation for your users and projects, publish information and news, and promote collaboration between your teams across departments. But by default, Confluence is sometimes clunky and not necessarily pretty to look at - a real developer tool, after all. But with a few plugins and a little creativity, it's a different story. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you want generic layouts or stylish Confluence pages.
To create great Confluence pages, just like cooking, you need some sort of recipe book, the necessary ingredients, and a little bit of creativity.
- Confluence Basics: Spaces and Pages
- A template to give your pages a basic structure
- Plugins and macros
1. the basics in Confluence - Spaces and Pages
Right from the first login, Confluence comes with some ingenious features that allow you to create an understandable page structure. The best way to start is to create some spaces to give your Confluence a basic structure. For example, the simplest basic structure you can create is one Space for each Team (e.g. Marketing) or Project (e.g. Iron Man Suite Mk. 5).
Common Confluence Spaces
- Teams & departments: e.g. Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, IT, etc.
- Projects: e.g. Iron Man Suite Mk 5., Captain America Shield Mk 2, etc.
- Personal Space: Mario's Dope Marketing Space, Philipp's crazy Dev. Space
Once you have created all the relevant Spaces for your business, it is advisable to create additional parent pages in each Space. This way you make sure that you don't end up with a bunch of confusing pages and content and don't know your way around anymore. For example, you can further structure the Marketing Space by adding pages for Content Marketing, Social Media or Homepage and then adding individual content for the respective topics.
2. templates for your Confluence pages
Surely you have already worked with templates for various tools here and there, which have made your life and your work so much easier. It's the same with Confluence. At Atlassian you can find some free and preconfigured templates that you can add directly to your Confluence instance and create stylish Confluence pages.
Templates for Confluence Cloud Users
If you're already using Confluence Cloud, this is also a breeze. Just click on "Use template" and add it to a page automatically. Then you can edit your pages as usual and access additional plugins and macros.
Templates for Confluence Data Center and Server Users
Unfortunately, as a server and data center user, it's not that easy. To be able to use templates, you can either create new pages directly from a template or rely on plugins from the Atlassian Market Place fall back. Here you will find a template for pretty much every conceivable purpose.
3. plugins and macros
To make your Confluence pages even more expressive or to customize them for your specific purpose, you can use plugins and the macros that come with them. Plugins can be obtained from the Atlassian Market Place.
There are several free extensions for Confluence that you can install directly on your instance. Additionally, there are also a lot of external plugin providers.
For example, if you want to add an image gallery or slider to a Confluence page, you can either use the built-in functionality in Confluence, or you can use the 'Advanced Image Galery from XALT'. This makes it incredibly easy and intuitive to edit, adjust and display images in different layouts directly on the page.
Some macros come with Confluence's basic functionality, others are provided by plugins. Macros allow you to customize your pages directly and natively to your liking, and it's a basic feature of Confluence that you'll probably work with almost every day. Some macros are used by clicking on the "little plus" at the top of the screen and adding the function where you want it.
4. the most important thing: your creativity
Sometimes your pages are just for internal use and don't necessarily need to be styled creatively. But surely you've been in situations where you need to visually prepare your content. The fancy templates and plugins are of course a great help in creating stylish Confluence pages. But at the end of the day, your own creativity and dedication will go a long way in helping you create great content.
In marketing and design, we often talk about "fake it till you make it". Simply put, look for inspiration from your competitors or the internet and use these insights in your projects. But be careful: Don't copy and paste!
Do you need support integrating Confluence into your company and team? As an Atlassian Gold Solution Partner, we'll be happy to help you find a solution. On our Atlassian Services page you can learn more about our approach and methodology.